Today I’m going to talk about how to gain ideas for blog posts. I’ve seen a few posts made about this and found them very helpful so I thought I’d make my own. I have about 30 finished posts in my drafts right now that I’m slowly releasing onto my blog when I feel the time is right, some of them I wrote months ago but haven’t felt like it’s the right time to post them yet, some of them I wrote last week and posted straight away. Here are 7 tips on how I get ideas for my blog posts and how I create content.
1). I don’t
I know, weird thing to say. I feel like in a way I’m so creative that the words just flow out of me and I don’t even realise, I don’t have to think about what I write, I just write it. Before I know it I’ve filled up 3 pages of a word document and have created another blog post. People are like this – painters for example, it’s almost like they just close their eyes and let their brush do all the talking and before they know it they open their eyes and there’s a masterpiece on the canvas in front of them. Or a pianist, they just let their fingers play over the notes and suddenly they’ve created a beautiful piece of music. That’s kind of what it’s like for me, writing just comes so naturally that I let my fingers hover over the keyboard or pen and before I know it I’ve written an essay. I think what I’m trying to say is to not force it, write about what comes naturally to you and don’t strain yourself to write something. If I’ve got writer’s block I won’t even attempt to write a blog post as I know it will feel rigid and stiff and when I read back over it, I’m going to hate everything I’ve said. A- because it doesn’t sound like something I would write and B – because it feels forced and the words don’t seem to flow properly. Letting things flow naturally can be a problem if ideas only come to you every once in a while but you want to post every week, in situations like this I would write about experiences e.g. if you went somewhere interesting, post photos of it. If you bought new clothing, do a look book. Give yourself a visual aid to guide you in your writing.
2). Use Visuals
Following on from my last point, use a visual guide to help you write! Some weeks you don’t feel like writing a lengthy blog post or can’t really think of much to say, or maybe you just want to switch things up a bit and include some visual content in your work. Not only do pictures make a post more interesting but they can also inspire you to write as well, there are so many posts you can create with photos, the possibilities are literally endless. (I’m actually getting so many ideas whilst writing this point that I’m going to put them all in my drafts). It’s a great way to inspire yourself and draw your readers in with beautiful photos. Make a travel diary, a look book, a haul etc. There’s so much you can do!
3). Talk about what you know
If you have no idea what to write about this week, write about what you know. I do this over all aspects of my writing and it’s generally the way I get most of my ideas for blog posts. I talk about what I’m passionate about, the things I know how to write about; to the point I don’t even have to think. My favourite artist just released a new album? I’ll write about that. I’m struggling with my body confidence this week? I’ll talk about that. I discovered some inspirational documentaries that I want to show people? I’ll share that. The ideas all come from experiences. Yes, of course try out new styles of writing and try to expand the range of content you produce if that’s the direction you want to take with your blog, but don’t force yourself to talk about things you’re not sure you can write very much with. For me, I write about the things that I know because I enjoy it (because it comes so naturally) and because I feel like I have something to offer people through it. I always want my posts to mean something; I want people to read my content and feel something afterwards or know that they discovered something. If I’m writing about something I’m not too sure of, I don’t feel like I can create those feelings or have people gain / learn anything from it. Talk about what you know because you know it better than anyone, and trust that people are going to love it.
4). Don’t compromise yourself
There’s no use posting cake recipes if your real interest is in fashion. People follow your blog because they like it; they enjoy reading what you post and who you are as a person. I feel like some people start a blog as a personal hobby, they write about the things they love and as their blog gets bigger and gains more followers they suddenly lose themselves and aren’t confident in what they’re posting anymore because they’re worried it’s not what their followers will want to see. I have ideas popping into my head all the time regarding things to write about – even though this is a blog, I use it as more of a journal that people are able to read and so I never really catch myself packing a suitcase and thinking ‘oh, I can turn this into a what’s in my travel bag post’. I’m more of a ‘the sky was so sad and gloomy today, I’m going to write a poem about it’ kind of person. I’m always in writer mode and never in blogger mode if that makes sense. People follow your blog because of you, a blog (for me anyway) is a personal space that I can come to manifest my thoughts and feelings and share them with other people; it’s a piece of me. Something I can show to people and say hey, look what I did. For example, I’m really passionate about body confidence and self love so I end up making lots of posts about it and I wouldn’t dampen that down just because I was afraid people would get sick of hearing it. As cliché as it sounds, don’t dull your sparkle because you think it will benefit you in some way – if you’re passionate about something, write it. Don’t hold back.
5). Let blog posts inspire blog posts
If you’re writing something and within it you touch upon another subject, make another blog post out of it! For example, if you’re writing a post about your favourite music artists and you happen to have seen one of them in concert, create another post about what that experience was like, include pictures, concert tips or rate the night as a whole. I often find that when I’m writing a post, ideas for other posts will ping into my head because I talk about certain things or touch upon certain subjects and I’m like hey, I could go into depth and make a separate post about that. If I’m talking about something e.g. people on social media and then happen to mention something about body confidence, I don’t want to go into depth about both things when I’m already talking about one of them, so I’ll make a separate post on the other subject which enables me to then talk about it to my heart’s content.
6). Make drafts
Drafts are a wonderful thing and you should definitely use them to your advantage. If you have an idea for something but aren’t sure how to write about it yet, stick it in a draft. You can never have enough ideas and I’m constantly coming up with new things to write about – I literally stick the subject in the draft heading and then write a few notes about it in the main body to remind myself of what I want to mention specifically, I’ll then save it and come back to it when I feel ready to write about it or I’m able to add something to it. Sometimes I’ll write half of a blog post and then suddenly hit a wall and know I’m not able to write anymore on it, so I’ll simply save it as a draft and come back to it a couple of days or weeks later and finish the rest – I’d prefer do that and get the best content I can rather than force myself to write something and end up doing it half halfheartedly. I also use drafts when I create blog posts that I know I won’t be able to finish yet – for example if I’m doing a haul but haven’t taken photos of the actual items yet, I’ll write the review and make all of the content, save it as a draft and then come back to it later once I’ve taken and edited the photos I need. Once I’ve added them in, the post is then ready to go – I find this so much easier than waiting until I have everything ready and then writing the post. I’ve always done this and have actually never worked any other way.
7). Write anywhere & everywhere
When things pop into my head, I write them down somewhere straight away. I constantly live inside my own head and so I’m always thinking away to myself via internal monologue – I was on a flight the other day, it was around 12am and I was thinking all these things and really enjoying my state of mind and then instantly I was thinking wait, why am I not saving and making a note of this? Why am I not putting this down somewhere so I remember it and can think / talk / write about it more again? The notes application on my phone is filled with random thoughts, poems and prompts that whizz into my head whenever they feel like it and so straight away I created a blank note and wrote a poem with the thoughts going round in my mind. My phone is always my go-to place to quickly write things down as it’s easily accessible, but if for example I’m at work and don’t have my phone at hand, I’ll write it on a post-it note and throw it in my bag, or if I don’t have paper I’ll scrawl something on the back of my hand. I emptied out my old bag the other day and hundreds of post-it notes with thoughts, quotes and poems fell out onto my bedroom floor – my mind is constantly working and therefore the creativity is never switched off. If you have something to say, say it now whilst you’re in the moment so you can remember the feeling and really get the best out of your writing – throw it on a word document or write a word on the back of your hand to prompt you, scrawl it on the back of a napkin or coffee cup or do what I do and write a full blown essay on your phone. Don’t wait until later when the moment’s gone and you’re sat comfortably in front of your laptop, write it in the moment, write it now.
I hope these tips were helpful to some of you guys, I’ve been a writer much longer than I’ve been a blogger so I’m still a little rusty but these are the things that help me when writing my own posts, and remember – always be your wonderful authentic self. ♡
All my love,